Can Walmart Catch Amazon In E-commerce?

From partnering with Instacart to launching Walmart+ as a competitor to Prime, here are all the ways Walmart is looking to catch up with Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce as the pandemic pushes more shoppers online.

Walmart is partnering with Instacart to offer same-day delivery starting in a few U.S. markets, making it the latest major grocery chain to team up with Instacart in its fight against Amazon and Whole Foods.

The partnership is currently in a pilot phase in four markets across California and in Oklahoma.

Walmart’s partnership comes at a key time. Consumers are relying on grocery delivery at an unprecedented rate due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and some analysts believe customers will continue to shop online even as things go back to normal.

“Today, we welcomed Walmart to the Instacart marketplace for the first time in the U.S. Instacart now delivers from Walmart locations in three California markets — Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego — as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma,” an Instacart spokesperson said in a statement. “The new partnership brings thousands of items — from groceries, alcohol and pantry staples to home decor and improvement, personal care, electronics and more — at everyday low prices from Walmart stores to customers’ doors in as fast as an hour.”

Instacart already partners with or delivers goods from Aldi, Target, Costco, Albertsons, Kroger and Walmart’s Sam’s Club, along with smaller grocers and drug stores.

By offering quick delivery, big chain grocers have a stronger position against Amazon, which offers grocery delivery services Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now from its own warehouses and Whole Foods stores.

In his testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on July 29, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said companies such as Shopify and Instacart are emerging as competitors to Amazon’s business.

“In recent months, curbside pickup of online orders has increased over 200%, in part due to COVID-19 concerns,” Bezos said. “We also face new competition from the likes of Shopify and Instacart — companies that enable traditionally physical stores to put up a full online store almost instantaneously and to deliver products directly to customers in new and innovative ways — and a growing list of omnichannel business models.”

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